Georgia Gov. Kemp releases more federal COVID relief dollars to support students

(The Center Square) – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is continuing to give away federal money.

This week, the governor announced the award of more than $37.4 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds to community and public organizations across The Peach State.

State officials say the latest allocation will benefit Georgia students as the money will ostensibly support initiatives and programs focused on learning recovery as educators and students address the learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kemp awarded $12 million to the Georgia Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, up to $12 million to the Department of Early Care and Learning, $9.1 million to the Georgia Department of Education, $2.3 million to the Georgia Public Library Service and $2 million to the Georgia Alliance of YMCAs

State officials previously told The Center Square that Georgia has about $59.7 million in GEER funds. Leading up to November’s election, Kemp’s team has slowly trickled news releases announcing GEER allocations.

Earlier this month, Kemp announced $650,000 in GEER funds to create the Career Planning Resource Platform, which all 26 public institutions in Georgia can access. The governor also announced $800,000 for a Certified Nursing Assistant Pilot Program.

Last month, state officials announced a plan to use GEER funds to give all Georgia public school teachers a $125 supplement to offset the cost of classroom materials. However, state officials could not say how much money the state planned to allocate to teachers as part of the “Back-to-School Supply Supplement” program.

In January, Kemp allotted $6 million in GEER funds for student mental health initiatives as part of a broader school safety initiative.

Congress included funding for GEER in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Federal lawmakers allocated additional GEER funds in the 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.